How a cooking lesson led to a crusade.

on Mar 23, 2011 - The Dish0

Lea Black of The Real Housewives of Miami
Lea Black thought she was getting a cooking lesson on last night's episode of The Real Housewives of Miami, but it turns out she got a crusade as well.

Chef Steve Martorano hosted the ladies at his restaurant, Café Martorano, and Lea took interest in more than just his cooking. South Florida's Sun-Sentinel reports that Lea took particular interest in the chef's t-shirt, which referenced a creative writing class that his cousin conducts in federal prison, where he's serving a life sentence. After learning that the chef's family and number of supporters have spent 25 years working to get George Martorano released, Lea decided she wanted to help, and asked her hubby -- defense attorney Roy Black -- to take on the case.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that in 1983, George Martorano plead guilty to 19 counts related to running a drug ring in Philadelphia, offenses that often carry sentences of 3-5 years. However, Martorano was sentenced to life without parole, which his supporters say is an effort to force him to cooperate in the a federal investigation of his father, a suspected mobster. The Housewife's husband is now arguing on Martorano's behalf, saying he was illegally sentenced, and asking a new judge to reconsider the sentence.

Lea, husband Roy, and chef Martorano have all declined to discuss the case at length in the press, and Lea only briefly touched on the matter in her blog this week, writing, "Not only was that lunch interesting for many reasons, but it led me to someone who really needed help, and my husband and I are doing everything in our power to help him. Stay tuned for (hopefully) a miracle in the making!"

While behind bars, George Martorano discovered creative writing, and has gone on to write screenplays, books, poems, short stories, and at least one published work -- 1997's "Pain Grows a Platinum Rose." Roy has tried to use that transformation to argue on his client's behalf, writing to the court, "Rather than becoming embittered, Mr. Martorano has spent the 27 years that he has been imprisoned as a model prisoner who helps others in extraordinary ways. In short, a radical transformation has occurred in George Martorano which is evident to all who come in contact with him and will also be evident to this [judge] at a resentencing."

Martorano is reportedly being held in Philadelphia, where he faces a hearing on his appeal in January.

4 comments
Viewer#100
Viewer#100

he sold pot, which KILLS NO-ONE-it was an orchestrated sting and trial-please know the facts before you open your mouth

Viewer#7
Viewer#7

I'm just wondering if Lean would be doing the same thing for Martonano's relative if he had sold drugs to her kid or some one that she really cares about.

Mountain Rose
Mountain Rose

This just adds more showing the caring, loving nature of Lea Black. She and her husband Roy are doing a great thing trying to right an injustice. This, I think, makes her such a good example of a Miami housewife. I read also that Roy is doing this pro bono, as he has done many, many times before.

hotintexas
hotintexas

You seem like such a good friend to Adrianna... hope she appreciates you!! We can't wait to see what's in store next week!